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2 movies, 2 meals, 10 hrs of sleep: How some CEOs have flown their longest flights

On World Tourism Day, big bosses reveal what kept them flying.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Sep 27, 2019, 06.44 PM IST
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ET Random Collage - 2019-09-27T160320.553
These bosses feel that an airline is the best place to network, brainstorm or strategise over upcoming work projects.
From Dubai to Rio De Janeiro and Delhi to San Francisco, CEOs reveal the longest long-haul flights they’ve been on, for either work or leisure.

It’s World Tourism Day and if the urge to jump on a plane and discover a new place strikes you, we recommend avoiding these routes. Starting from 16 hours to 22 hours, these plane rides are not for the faint of heart.

However if you’re one of the few who find that an airline is the best place to network, brainstorm or strategise over upcoming work projects (like some of the CEOs on this list), we recommend bookmarking these long-haul routes.

San Francisco to Dubai
“I took a non-stop 16 hour San Francisco – Dubai flight once. It was one of those rare flights where I watched 2 movies, enjoyed 2 meals and 10 hours of sleep!”,Ajinkya Firodia, MD, Motoroyale Kinetic told ET Panache during an interview.

Ajinkya Firodia
Ajinkya Firodia, who travels abroad at least twice a quarter for work, always makes sure he adds a few days to his business trips to sightsee or shop.


Firodia, who travels abroad at least twice a quarter for work, always makes sure he adds a few days to his business trips to sightsee or shop.

Dubai to Rio De Janeiro

"I usually avoid travelling for such long distances but when I do, I tend watch a lot of movies and browse through my phone's photo gallery to relive old memories which my busy schedule doesn’t allow me to do so otherwise," said Rajat Khurana, Managing Director, ASICS India, recalling a particularly long flight he boarded from Dubai to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil for the Rio Olympics 2016.

Rajat Khurrana
Rajat Khurana, Managing Director, ASICS India usually avoids travelling for such long distances.


Barcelona to Macau

Bewakoof.com co-founder Prabhkiran Singh finds himself on a plane once a month. “Most of the travel is for pleasure and during the winters, attending weddings is the most frequent reason.”

Prabhkiran


Asked if he remembered his longest flight, he said, “Totally, I can’t forget that day and night. I travelled from Barcelona to Macau via Moscow. Including the layover, it was a 24 hour long flight. Don’t know what I was thinking when I booked that one!”

Japan to Chile
As someone who flies three or four times a month for work and at least four times a year for holiday, Charles Frump, Volvo Car India MD, knows his way across the sky. His longest flight to date - Japan to Chile via Los Angeles.

Charles Frump
As someone who flies three or four times a month for work and at least four times a year for holiday, Charles Frump, Volvo Car India MD, knows his way across the sky.


Los Angeles to Doha

“Since most long-haul flights out of India leave late at night, my #1 objective is to get some sleep” said MoneyTap co-founder Bala Parthasarathy, who uses a combination of hacks to ‘get the z’s’ such as cutting alcohol, using eyepatches, earplugs and taking a Melatonin (non-drowsy, non-addictive, sleep medicine).

bala partha
Bala Parthasarathy uses a combination of hacks to ‘get the z’s’ such as cutting alcohol and using eyepatches.


However, an especially long long-haul flight from Los Angeles to Doha, Qatar left him at loose ends. “Qatar Airlines is a great airline but I realized I have claustrophobia and no matter how comfortable a flight is, I get really restless after a while. Walking around, sitting near a window, etc. helps.”

Delhi to San Francisco
“I took a 17 hour, non – stop flight from Delhi - San Francisco which was the longest flight I have taken to date,” said Akshay Mehrotra, Cofounder, EarlySalary, who finds it difficult to sleep on flights. Instead, he uses the time to review work, draft presentations and chat up passengers.

Akshay Mehrotra
Akshay Mehrotra, Cofounder, EarlySalary, finds it difficult to sleep on flights.


“(This particular flight) felt painfully long especially since I had to take a two-hour long connecting flight from Pune to Delhi also, which had a four-hour layover.”

Tokyo to Detroit

Travelling at least once a week for work, Randstad India CEO Paul Dupuis has an inflight routine down pat. “As soon as I am settled in my seat and during the preparation for take-off, I listen to 1980s rock. Once we have taken off and in the skies, I turn my attention to newspapers and business magazines. After the meal, it is time for movies and then a bit of sleep. On waking up, it’s more reading or games.”

Work At 30,000 Ft: How Vikas Oberoi, Roland Folger And Other CEOs Utilise Air-Time

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Flying Returns For India Inc

12 Nov, 2018
They travel around the world for work or leisure. But these business leaders know how to make the most of the hours they spend in an aircraft while travelling to faraway destinations:
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Asked about his longest flight to date, he said “A 13-and-a-half hour flight between Tokyo and Detroit, plenty of time to go through my inflight routine!”

Delhi to New York
“I am a chatty traveller. This is something I enjoy the most on a flight,” said Urban Ladder CEO Ashish Goel who travels at least 2 or 3 times a month. His longest flight to date: Delhi to New York.

Ashish urban
Urban Ladder CEO Ashish Goel travels at least 2 or 3 times a month


Delhi to San Francisco

GoWork CEO Sudeep Singh’s longest flight was a 17.5 hours non-stop flight from Delhi to San Francisco. “I had to keep myself hydrated and kept walking around intermittently to keep my blood flow running perfectly.”

gowork
GoWork CEO Sudeep Singh’s longest flight was a 17.5 hours non-stop flight from Delhi to San Francisco.


This fit in perfectly with Singh’s inflight routine – networking with co-passengers over the bar. “It's always interesting to meet new people bound to the same destination as you, each one for a reason of their own.”

San Francisco to Greece

Ankush Gera, Founder, Junglee Games, who finds himself on the road at least 6 months out of the year, finds flights are the best time to optimise for work. Asked about his longest flight, he said, “I think Greece was a long haul. There is no direct flight from SFO (San Francisco) and it takes 22 odd hours to get there.”

Ankush Gera
Ankush Gera, Founder, Junglee Games, who finds himself on the road at least 6 months out of the year, finds flights are the best time to optimise for work.

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